Late Rally at the PMAC Falls Short

The Auburn women's basketball team suffered a three-point road loss at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center to LSU.

Baton Rouge, La.--Turnovers and LSU's huge advantage at the foul line were Auburn's downfall on Thursday night as LSU defeated Coach Nell Fortner's Tigers 55-52 in an SEC women's basketball game.

Auburn cut LSU's 10-point second half lead to 54-52 with eight seconds left on a three-pointer by Alli Smalley, who scored a team-high 18 points.

Katherine Graham, who scored 18 points to lead LSU, then hit one of two free throws to put LSU up by three, but the visiting Tigers weren't able to take advantage of the opportunity to send the game into overtime like they did last season at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on their way to a victory.

Auburn's Morgan Toles missed a buzzer-beater from three-point range as time ran out on the visitors. The loss was a third straight setback for Auburn, which falls to 13-11 overall and 6-5 in the SEC. LSU, which lost at Auburn last month, improved to 17-9 overall and 7-5 in the SEC.

"I am really proud of the effort of this team," Fortner said. "I thought they came out and fought hard and just never stopped believing. I?just thought the fouls got us bad. They were 22-30 at the free throw line. My gosh, and we're 5-8. That kind of tells the story there."

Fortner said Auburn's turnovers were another major issue, especially 14 before intermission. "I felt like we should have been up by 10 at the half, but you can't when you have 14 turnovers. You are not getting enough shot attempts to do it."

The Tigers played without starting senior forward Jordan Greenleaf, who was dismissed from the team. Freshman forward Jassany Williams, who started, scored six points as did freshman forward Tyrese Tanner, who came off the bench.

Blanche Alverson led Auburn on the boards with nine rebounds, but scored just two points. The Tigers got seven points from Morgan Toles.

Both teams struggled offensively in the first half. At the break the score was 16-16. Both teams warmed up with their shooting in the second half. Auburn built a 30-24 lead with 12:14 left in the second half, but LSU went on a 21-5 run to build a double digits lead with 5:29 to play.

Auburn was able to make a late run as Smalley hit two threes in the final minute and freshman Courtney Strain also hit a trey, but the Tigers were unable to get a shot off with a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds.

Auburn will continue its road trip with a Sunday game at Arkansas.

Smalley, Alli 6-15 3-3 18; Toles, Morgan 3-10 1-3 7; Tanner, Tyrese 2-6 1-2 6; Williams, Jassany 3-4 0-0 6; Strain, Courtney 2-3 0-0 5; West, Pascale 2-2 0-0 4; Alverson, Blanche 1-7 0-0 2; Glymph, Camille 1-2 0-0 2; Hilliard, Chantel 1-4 0-0 2; Simmons, Parrisha 0-2 0-0 0; Jennings, Morgan 0-0 0-0 0; Davis, Peyton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-55 5-8 52.

LSU (55)
GRAHAM, Katherine 3-6 12-15 18; JONES, Courtney 4-11 3-5 11; WEBB, Adrienne 3-9 2-3 10; BARRETT, LaSondra 3-14 3-4 9; KENNEY, Jeanne 2-6 0-1 5; HUGHES, Destini 0-3 2-2 2; LUTLEY, Bianca 0-1 0-0 0; EASON, Latear 0-2 0-0 0; TURNBOW, Taylor 0-2 0-0 0; PLAISANCE, Theresa 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-55 22-30 55.

Auburn 16 36 52
LSU 16 39 55

3-point goals--Auburn 5-13 (Smalley, Alli 3-6; Strain, Courtney 1-1; Tanner, Tyrese 1-2; Alverson, Blanche 0-2; Glymph, Camille 0-1; Hilliard, Chantel 0-1), LSU 3-13 (WEBB, Adrienne 2-4; KENNEY, Jeanne 1-4; BARRETT, LaSondra 0-1; HUGHES, Destini 0-1; LUTLEY, Bianca 0-1; EASON, Latear 0-1; JONES, Courtney 0-1).
Fouled out--Auburn-Tanner, Tyrese, LSU-None.
Rebounds--Auburn 44 (Alverson, Blanche 9), LSU 37 (JONES, Courtney 11).
Assists--Auburn 11 (Toles, Morgan 4), LSU 9 (HUGHES, Destini 3).
Total fouls--Auburn 22, LSU 12.
Technical fouls--Auburn-None, LSU-None.

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